Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Danish oil.


I built a three step stair stringer for easy access to hot tub. The stringers are pine, the steps are cedar. I applied danish oil to the entire unit. The cedar absorbed the oil well, the pine still has a tack after 24 hrs. Will this ultimately dry? Should a varnish be applied on top of the oil?

Hey Tom, How heavy did you apply the oil? Typically you want to apply it liberally and let it sit for say 10 minutes, but then wipe it ALL off, thoroughly. It should dry in 24 hours, and you can even put a fan on it to help it to cure. You should probably apply at least three coats, with at least 24 hours between those coats... if it is still tacky after 24 hours, then take a rag wet with mineral spirits and wipe the piece down well, evenly, and then give it another 24 hours... it should dry fine. The key to penetrating oils is to apply thin coats... the first being heavy and left to penetrate for 10-15 minutes... but then wiping it off well. Even though the coats will dry in a few days, remember that a 'cure' can take several weeks to happen, so penetrating oil finishes need to be left alone for at least 3-4 weeks after the final coat. An oil based varnish can be applied over a thoroughly cured oil finish, but it's not really recommended. If you want a varnish finish, simply use a varnish, and in a hot tub situation, it might be a good idea to use an exterior varnish, BUT an oil finish will never chip, peel, or flake, and additional coats can be applied 'down the road', to freshen the finish and add further protection. If you like the penetrating oils, look into Waterlox, one of my favorites, that offers better protection than most similar oils...

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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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